[GS] Your 3 best and 3 worst things about Civ 6


Jul 11, 2011
Southern England
Long time Civ player here. With 2 expansions done and dusted (hopefully more content coming soon), I wondered what everyone's 3 best and 3 worst things were about Civ 6?

My 3 best:

1) Eurekas and inspirations - it is fun and intuitive to get help for science or culture depending on what you are doing e.g. clearing barbarians can help your military. I also think it was the right decision to split the science and culture trees. It would be good to get a bit more variety though after a while
2) The variety of civilisations - In older games I remember they tended to have 5 or 6 leader types. I think Firaxis have done really well, particularly in GS, at coming up with new civs with different strategies, for example, a Hungary game will be very different from a Mali game, which will both be very different from a Dido game
3) Eleanor of Aquitaine - I find her games to be so fun! It takes some work getting it set up but when you start peacefully rolling through another civ it is deeply satisfying.

My 3 worst:

1) Diplomacy - it's too static. You meet Gilga on turn 10 and 4,000 years later you have a level 3 alliance and you know that your ally will never betray you. I remember in earlier incarnations that if you were getting too powerful the AI would no longer ally with you or would gang up on you. I would like a more fluid diplomacy with more considerations of the balance of power.
2) Nice developer syndrome - Disasters were supposed to up the challenge for the player but they don't as implemented. Your city gets hit by Vesuvius and loses 4 pop. Oh well, with the increased fertility it will be back soon. If disasters/rising sea level could completely destroy your cities it would be much more of a challenge.
3) Lack of strategic choices in the late game - The early game is really interesting with exploration and lots of trade offs such as building a settler or a holy site. Your decisions really matter. By the mid-to-late game you know how you are going to win and is there is rarely any more strategy to it e.g. science victory - spam campuses, build IZs, build spaceports, get some aluminium, get certain GPs,win. You are still making decisions but a lot of them don't really matter that much.
My 3 best:

1) Districts: I enjoy the unpacking of cities and having to make some difficult decisions early.
2) Music: The music is phenomenal and is often in my rotation.
3) Variety: I appreciate having so many different civilizations to choose from.

My 3 worst:

1) AI: The only challenge it provides is being able to outproduce you at higher levels. If you manage to catch up, it's just as easy at lower levels. It also doesn't ever seem to play to win. I find it baffling to see a message that "X is going for a Domination Victory" and then never see it declare war on anybody.
2) World Congress: It's just awful. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to how the AI will vote at any given moment but always seems to have just enough votes to really screw you over. Also, can someone explain how banning great people would actually work? It doesn't make a lot of sense.
3) End Game: Most of us know we will win the game at X point. It just feels like your are clicking "next turn" until you win the game.
My 3 best:
1) Great person system: The new great person system is probably the best element of civ6 imo. Adds variation between each game.
2) Districts: This is a very good idea and makes for some actual decision making, even if balance is (still) not completely right. I particularly love the idea of AOE-districts that affect not only owner city but also surrounding cities, this could easily be expanded upon.
3) Unique City States: Much like the great person system, this is a brilliantly inspired idea, that adds variation and unpredictability between games.
HM) Technologies and civics, eurekas and inspirations: This adds a nice element of short-and-long-term decision making.

My 3 worst:
1) World congress: Between a completely intransparent voting system and mostly completely pointless resolitions, this is just a disaster all the way through.
2) Policy card system: Between endless micromanagement, horrible balance and gamey-elements like switch-in-switch-out, this is a direct step back compared to Civ 5. Even worse, it kills variation between games, because the policies I end up using always comes from a very limited subset of the total number of policies. In Civ5, I would often find myself shaking the bag by picking an unusual combinations of policies and seeing where it brought me.
3) General lack of replayability: I feel the game suffers from severe lack of variability, particularly due to very inflexible civ- and leader-abilities, the almost forces you to play every game as each leader in a very specific way, unless you wont to play counter-productive and go against the leader specialization. The fact that you can't conquer unique abilities from foreign civilizations only add to this.
HM) Endgame that is boring as hell. Once I hit modern era, I generally just want to quit, but have to sit through another two hours of non-excitement if I want to earn the achievement.
3 best
  • Attachment system for units artdef
  • Civ6 Lua is quite fast
  • Mods can be used in MP, that was high in my "3 worst" for civ5
3 worst
  • No more "lead a Civilization to stand the test of time" feeling, I'm just playing a boardgame.
  • No way to mod the core game to fix the above by changing diplomacy mechanisms and AI behavior
  • Unstability on big maps
3 Best
1) Play the Map. The map plays out differently each time and I think that the maps are pretty.
2) The music really pulls me into the game.
3) Multi player. Each decisions in the game really matters and the community is generally very friendly and fun.

3 worst
1) A lot of technologies advancement is just building a the same thing with more hit points or yields
2) Leader screen trading system
3) The system of having to acquiring Strategic resources is more in fun in theory then in practice. They either magically appear on the map you don't have to look for them.
Man, this could change for me any given day, but....

  • Era Score - This was an idea I'd been advocating since Civ V, albeit as an alternative to existing victory conditions. Creates a sense of tension and pacing. Good variety of ways to earn score.
  • Loyalty - Mitigates some problematic AI behavior that have dogged Civ, both in peace and war. Just wish the AI didn't behave so blindly in regards to handing over cities so easily, and not minding when their cities get flipped. AI should want its cities back, and should avoid settling where it has a -20.
  • Great People - Huge improvement over previous approaches. Feels competitive, and makes city projects a valid use of peace-time production. Not all GP's are equal, so it is a bit pot luck, but it's good that it's a bit of a crap-shoot and you don't necessarily know whether you should pass or wait. Knowing how to use city projects along with gold/faith buys is a great instance of elevating Civ's skill ceiling.

  • "Multiple Paths to Victory" - What a joke of a term. It promises variety, but results in homogeneity. Most disappointment with Civ can in some way be attributed to victory conditions that reward repetition rather than adaptability.
  • Quantity-Over-Quality Expansion - An empire should not consist of a bunch of cities settled three tiles apart so they spam the same district ad infinitum (see previous item). Players should be looking for choice locations. Settling lots of poor locations should decrement an empire's stability. No, cities shouldn't face aggressive caps, but expansion should be paced. It should ultimately be something that works inefficiently the way the Romans did it (endless expansion), and is best executed in a cyclic fashion where the empire reaches a maturation point and is ready for another wave of expansion.
  • Slop-Bucket Civ's - Civ's are a lot messier on the whole than in V. I would like to look at my AI neighbor and immediately know what their signature ability is. Abilities should be potent and elegant. But most of my neighbors, I don't remember off-hand what all they can do. Just a gumbo of eclectic bonuses and discounts and culture bombs, etc. Kinda uninspired.
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1) Loyalty - The best innovation in Civ VI, hands down. No more pointless AI cities because you left a gap in the middle of your borders! Civ expansion feels organic and natural! You can't just pop a new city right next to the AI or conquer without taking pressure into account! And the system gave us my favourite leader, Eleanor. Love it so much.
2) Eurekas and Inspirations - Makes every game feel different
3) The government card policy system - I know this gets a lot of hate but I adore it. The freedom of being able to mix and match policy cards is wonderful. Of course, there are plenty I never use, but I'm sure others might. I would hate to go back to the Civ 5 SP trees approach.

1) The UI - it's got a lot better than it was at launch but I cannot get over how bad some aspects still are, especially the report screens which are awful to the point of being useless.
2) The end game - increasingly I just stop playing my games once I get past industrial, especially if I'm not playing culturally. I just can't be bothered with the slog. The new science victory bores me to tears with the endless city projects.
3) World Congress - I admit, I was never that interested in it and wasn't too bothered when I heard it was coming back, as I didn't particularly enjoy the Civ 5 one. Now my heart actually sinks a little bit every time the world enters medieval. I miss having the ability to influence AI votes - I mean, sure, it's not like the game doesn't provide enough opportunities to bribe the AI as it is, but at least that made it feel a little more interactive and as if you actually had some control over it. And I still for the life of me don't understand the A implementation/B implementation system.

And as a bonus, my top 3 "nice ideas, poorly implemented":
1) Civ diversity - we've had some great new additions to the Civ roster this iteration, but adding new Civs seems to have come at the cost of being able to come up with exciting new abilities for them to have. Now I'll grant that Gathering Storm did a much better job of coming up with interesting abilities to go with the new leaders, but unfortunately some of the earlier ones are really dull (remember the profusion of "get a production/science bonus for 20 turns after using X Casus Belli" bonuses? Snore!)
2) Era score/Ages - I was really excited about this new system but ultimately the implementation was a let-down. A real opportunity was missed here to make Dark Ages feel challenging and like something you really wanted to avoid. Instead they're mild nuisances vastly outweighed by the opportunity to slingshot into a Heroic Age. Meh.
3) Agenda System - great idea but there are too many agendas that feel arbitrary or just like they are punishing you for playing the game in a certain way (especially if you are a builder)
1) Loyalty. Got to agree with some of the other posters, this is a nice and clean way to prevent border gore which is impactful on how you play.
2) Uniqueness of civs. This time round everyone plays very differently which has dramatically increased the novelty factor of the game for me
3) District system. It's a nice way to feel like you are specializing and guiding the development of your cities. If anything they could have taken this further.

1) Religious Victory. It feels to me like a game of whack-a-mole. Add to that the amount of resources you have to commit early in order to score your own religion and this is easily my rarest victory type.
2) Agendas. The agenda system feels artificial to me. The AI often makes bad choices in the cause of its agendas and it can feel a bit immersion breaking.
3) Diplomatic Victory. I prefer this to RV since recent patches, but it usually ends up as a 'backup' win condition for me and scales badly with the number of players at the final stages.
Best Things
1. Science vs Culture with the Eureka/Inspiration boost. Splitting the two "advancements" into separate trees and then having ways to boost your advancement based on what you are doing
2. Great People. Really enjoy the mechanics and variability involved. Wish there were twice as many, but only 1/2 would appear in each game.
3. City States, lots of different ones making each game very different.
Worst Things
1. User Interface is so unintuitive in many areas. Why can't I sort the report screens and/or get sensible 1-line city summaries. What is each city building, I have to click through each one in turn. WTF?
2. Mis-clicking, Not being able to undo a single move when I've moved the wrong unit which can completely cock up a whole turn.
3. Diplomacy and the World Congress. Complete waste of space, lets guess randomly about what's available and who's going to vote on what.
the look of the map (even though I like Civ 5's actual UI itself better)
districts. cities can now specialize in certain productions over others.
eurekas and such helping research new technologies

unexceptional policy cards with no synergy
milquetoast unique abilities for Civs, and their leaders too easy to please or too easy to anger
dull world congress with opaque goings-on
...and all three of these lead into an endgame that is pretty much settled once it's in sight; it's just a sprint to the end at that point
3 Best Things
  1. Districts
  2. Social policy tree
  3. Unlagged UI
3 Worst Things
  1. Religious Victory lack of depth
  2. Culture and loyalty being 2 things apart
  3. Some very random/restrictive Eureka/Inspiration boosts and too many policy cards changing
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Top 3 Best:

1. Districts, wonder placements, overall tiles use. No longer single city can build 20+ wonders.
2. Era Score.
3. Early to mid game. Ancient times till rennaisance/industrial era is the most FUN to play.

Top 3 WORST!!!!!!!!!!

1. From mid to late game...once rennaisance/industrial era comes, I wanna restart.
2. Loyalty. Once rebelled the city just stands useless..untill its recaptured..this feature needs more work.
3. AI, the late game would be more fun if the AI actually played smart and really tried hard to win the game, and try to ruin/hinder other civs path to victory.
Best Things
  • Loyalty System. Gone are the days of aggressively forward settling neighbors - now I would have to think twice about careful expansion into other civs territory.
  • Districts. I like how I have to think carefully about placement to maximize adjacency bonuses, and how buildings are grouped into different districts (instead of a single list of building improvements). Helps me remember city specializations easier.
  • Culture/Science tech tracks separation. Culture now has more use, instead of just waiting several turns for borders to grow in previous Civ games. It also emphasizes the importance of balancing culture and science output, since some eurekas/inspirations depend on researching a specific science tech or culture civic.'
Worst Things
  • Specialists (in districts). It's a small thing, but I feel that I only assign specialists once there are no more tile spaces for food and production. Their static output is underwhelming. Maybe specialists could have their output improved incrementally by certain technologies or civics, so that it has value throughout the game? Just an idea.
  • Having remaining movement points. I don't know - maybe I'm OCD when it comes to having to use every MP of every unit in Civ. I'm not used to having to not being able to move with 1 MP onto a hill. Perhaps it is something I will get used to over time!
  • World Congress. I've tried to find a good reason to like the system, but I cannot. There is no way to tell what a Civ is going to vote for specifically (we only know if certain civs favor an outcome A or B of a proposal, that's it). A bit too random for my personal liking.

1) District system. Even if it's kind of silly with regards to map scale (but so is 1upt combat), it's good gameplay.
2) civics tree. It feels good to me, can't quite explain it.
3) civ design and music. I'm lovin' it.


None. Okay I'll try to think of something

1) recruit partisans mission. As discussed in the spy thread, this should be reworked. I'd like to see this only work on cities with negative amenities
2) Lack of late game world wars. While your alliances can drag you and other ai's into wars, the AI never does anything about it. If they don't seem to have a plan to attack you beforehand, they just seem to ignore you. Simulating world wars seems impossible at the moment.
3) Diplomacy and AI in general. Similar to above, but I find a lack of civs who are aggressive and like aggressive play. I find even traditional warmongers denouncing me for me causing grievances. People like Shaka seem to want me to be a peacenik. Similar to #2, I want to see blocks of civs form. Warmongers sticking together, scientific civs sticking together etc. And general AI improvements. Mostly would like to see AI stick to a plan, and not change their mind so much.
Nice thread. It was hard to limit to only 3 on either list.


1. Districts – Easily the crowning achievement of Civ 6. It’s the primary reason I can’t go back to Civ 5.
2. Civ variety/uniqueness – So many options! So many subtle play styles! So much richness!
3. 1-More turn (early/mid game) Civ's still got it! I’ll quit as soon as I found this city that has Iron. I mean I’ll quit as soon as I upgrade this 3rd Swordsman. I mean I’ll quit as soon as I capture …

1. End Game drags…. “Next Turn” x50 – there is some stuff going on, but it's not enough. And increasing the end game time of the SV just to make the new future era meaningful was a big fail. The tedium makes we wish I wasn’t a completionist. I just can’t abandon a game, and I’m sure I’ve lost a hundred+ hours of my life to the end game.
2. UI – Mods help, but yeah I can’t play the game with the base UI. I struggle every time there’s a patch and I have to wait for the Mods I rely on to be retrofitted to support the changes.
3. tie - World Congress/Religion – I could have called this "poorly executed concepts" - mostly what people have said before, but both systems are just weak sauce. I love the concepts. I know that I am in the minority that I actually even like religious combat, but to be honest I would have a better game experience if neither of these 2 systems (as built today) were even in the game – and that’s a shame.
equally good:
  • districts and their buildings are mostly well tought. genius idea that was right there. and so simple in its core;
  • great persons and wonders separation. i never like to build wonders more than very few. now, when they are not tied to great person birth, that feels right. and it is more logical to get GP`s from specialty disctricts and buildings.
  • civilizations and their leaders are not perfect, but quite well designed. there is an actual difference how to play gitarja or sweden, hungary or inca.
  • overcrammed maps with various features. if single city has tundra, desert, lake, mountain, plains and jungles, plus luxuries and bonus resources, that`s excatly too much terrain difference for single city. also too many useless or nearly useless terrains, like lakes and deserts. yeah, and those mountains... people love them, i dislike them. i prefer farm and higher population, instead mountain with +1 sci.
  • naval combat is hard bad. and i like to play navally, even on pangea maps. very good naval civs, good ideas, but very combat on waters is abysmal.
  • diplomacy. what i dislike most, is its simplicity. there should be cultural, racial, religious and ethnical ties between civilizations. like australia and usa could be allies or friends very easy. same between arabia and mansa musa. but nearly impossible ally between poland and inca. right now its just pure numbers.
bonus bad - endgame. rarely i get to these eras at all, yet when there, it is truly boring gameplay.
Best three things:

1. Maps Impact Game: To me, one of the biggest success of Civ 6 is rewarding playing the map, rather than doing the same thing every time. In particular the city states on the map can completely change the strategy, like finding Rapa Nui versus Yerevan in a Cultural Victory game. Having terrane requirements for adjacency and wonders, and randomly distributed resources, really impacts decisions like Horsemen versus Swords, whether to take an otherwise suboptimal spot for a key Wonder like Pyramids. Mountains are useful instead of just a terrance obstacle. You have to weigh whether taking a weaker coastal spot is balanced out by getting some Sailing/Shipbuilding/Celestial Navigation/etc boost. I have a particular weakness for Natural Wonders.

2. Variety of Civs: The different Civs really add a ton of replay value. Civs like Norway and Hungary completely change the best strategy for the same map. They aren’t balanced (and I don’t think they have to be), but the designers really did a great job of coming up with interesting abilities for each one (except poor Canada, so terrible!). There are so many options I think there are a few I haven't even finished a game with after 2 years.

3. Districts: Planning the optimal layout for them is a lot of fun (even though it is often relatively unimportant side from the first part of the game). The fact that population limits them also means you have to decide which ones are needed in each city instead of mindlessly spamming them all.

Worst three things:

*Everyone likes to beat up on the AI but I will pass on that since it seems like the most difficult thing to actually code, and the AI has gotten better over the past 2 years (though it is undoubtably still bad).

1. Production Scaling: Production from improvements and infrastructure is so inferior to chopping and pillaging, because those scale up as the game goes on. This leads to a situation where you build most things with production early, but rapidly shift to just chopping everything later in the game. One of the depressing things about the Civ 6 learning curve is realizing how building a mine is almost never a good idea after the first 50 turns and that a spot without forests is basically unworthy to ever settler. A Horseman or Settler right NOW with a chop is worth so much more than 200 production spread out of 100 turns that it is not even close. Incidentally, I get the impression chopping is one of the key things that makes the AI so bad over the course of the game. Humans tend to chop everything in sight (at least if they are playing for a fast win) whereas the AI seems to chop very rarely).

The same applies to pillaging. What’s the point of building a Market for 12-h to get 3gpt? For 1/3 the production (with Maneuver card) you can get a Horseman and pillage a single Mine for 200g (and then twenty more tiles afterward).

Things get worse as the game goes on. Near the end of the game, a 10 pop city with 10 mines will take 30+ turns to build a Spaceport, but a freshly founded city in the middle of the Tundra can chop it instantly with a dozen forests (or just buy it with Reyna).

Cheap unit upgrades also greatly devalue production. I don’t think I have ever actually built a Tank for example, since it is a thousand time more effective to upgrade a Knight that is sitting around from the early game.

Personally, I wish they would go back to pillaging being locked at 25f/s/c or 50g, re-scale chops so they grow from 20 to 100h (instead of 200h), and lower the production cost of most late game buildings and units for producing them would compete better with chopping or gold-buying/upgrading.

2. Infinite Sprawl: The late game gets tedious (at least for me) in large part because it is hard to pay close attention to 30 cities. Civ 4 pumped the brakes on crazy expansion by scaling costs up as you got more cities. Civ 6 has almost no penalty for planting more and more cities. Amenities do not truly slow things down since you can simply keep population low and with a policy card or two all your cities can grow to at least 4 pop without a even costing any outside amenities.

It would be nice if there was some penalty for cities beyond the first few - maybe adding 1g, 2g, 3g , etc. upkeep per city. Alternatively perhaps a few policies that rewarded growing tall would at least make sprawl not the automatic choice - e.g. a set of cards that gives all cities +10% science/ culture/ production if you have 10 or less cities.

3. Diplomatic Victory: Guessing the votes always felt so random to me, although great work by @leandrombraz has at least provided a guide to why the AIs vote like the do. Aid projects / emergencies are still pretty random but I can live with that.

More objectionable though, there is basically no diplomacy in the optimal Diplomatic Victory - the best was to win is kill most of the AIs and outvote the survivors. It will probably never happen, but I wish the Diplomatic Victory could be reconfigured to reward peaceful play more, maybe by giving a Diplomatic Victory point for reaching a level 2 Alliance (I would say 3 but they take FOREVER), or punish warring by taking away a Diplomatic Victory Point each time you declare war without a “just cause” (e.g. -1 for Surprise/Formal/Colonial War but no penalty for things like Protectorate War).

While no one can force you to play for a Diplomatic Victory, it is incredibly annoying when the World Congress passes some type of stupid resolution like banning Great Writers or Nuclear Weapons. In Civ 4, you could always violate a resolution and everyone would hate you. To me that is both preferable from a gameplay perspective and also more immersive.
This is going to be difficult, but here goes:

3 BEST (sure I can count, why do you ask?)
Seafaring - Early ships being able to enter Ocean upon discovering the appropriate tech rather than needing to come back to your home territory and being upgraded is helpful.
Great Person System - Being able to see which ones are upcoming and select (or purchase in advance) the ones you're interested in is great (pun fully intended).
Map Pins & Map Search - Two options that are hard to live without. The former is especially crucial in planning out where to place New Cities/District/Improvements.
Promotions - Really just for the Healing being automatic instead of foregoing an upgrade
Mods - Much easier to use and manage than Civ 5 and much less likely to break saves

3 WORST (just trust me, don't count them)

Governor System - I always cringe whenever I see this notification pop up. Too much micromanagement for me.
Golden Age System - most of the options are completely useless for me and I wind up taking the same few every game.
Espionage System - Civ 5 was the best version in all the iterations. Just set it and forget it, which is how I feel about the whole Espionage concept in general
World Congress - such a monumental disruption to the flow of the game. A lot of the choices I couldn't care less about. Which Resource do I want to increase or block? Which ones do I own? Which ones does my enemy own? Oh, we own the same ones, so who cares? Too much busy work!
Cartoony Graphics - I loved Civ 5's graphics. I've tolerated Civ 6's thus far, but seeing Humankind just makes me see what could have been. I had to download the Civ 5 graphics conversion just so I can see where Woods, Rainforest and Hills are
Resource per Turn Maintenance - Just make them lump sum like earlier units. Especially Oil for Infantry.
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